Last week I took a drive out to the Links to see what Gettysburg’s finest had to offer . . . and I sure am happy that’s how I chose to spend my Sunday. While driving up to the clubhouse, you will pass through a new housing community, and by the huge water tower emblazoned with the Links’ logo. It’s important to note that these houses are rarely in your sight-line while on the course (so it’s great for those golfers out there who don’t really enjoy playing in peoples’ backyards), but those that are visible are well worth the view.
Upon reaching the Bag Drop, we were immediately greeted by two attendants and the carts were prepped and ready. After a quick stop in the clubhouse (which we were able to enjoy more at the turn and after the round), we hooked up with the Starter who provided an excellent overview of the course. You can tell that he took great pride in working and playing the course, and his enthusiasm put a smile on all our faces; we knew heading over to the Driving Range that we were in for a treat.
At the range, they were letting the grass tees get some much needed TLC, so we were restricted to mats only. It’s not often that you praise a course for their Driving Range, but they did a great job building these facilities. The mats had a lot of “give” to them and there is a restroom and soda machine nearby. Plus, the #1 Tee is right around the corner, so there is never a need to tee off with the next group looking over your shoulder.
Right away, we knew that we were in for a challenging round. Although it’s not the most difficult hole on the course, the Par-4, #1 epitomizes the overall layout at the Links at Gettysburg — well-placed hazards and out-of-bounds areas around the fairway, usually some type of ravine or stream that you need to carry to get to the green, and well-placed bunkers making you think strategically about your approach shot. Of course, getting to the green and playing on the green are completely different stories, and on this course you can expect lots of direction changes and slopes to make you truly analyze your putt . . . or should I say, your putts.
Overall, this is one of the most scenic courses that I have ever played, and every hole had something unique to offer. That being said, there are a couple holes that are burned into my memory just for the pure aesthetics of the layout and design.
The Par-3, #3 is magnificent. From the tee, your eyes focus on the Red Rock cliff behind the green. I remember trying to focus on my shot so I would not hit it short into the creek or long into the bunker,
but all I could think to myself was “now this is what a Par 3 is supposed to look like.” Fortunately, the down-sloped green is a fairly large target, but the well-conceived pin placement forced most putts up-and-over a large ridge. What an awesome hole.
For those golfers who pride themselves in driving for distance, then the Par 5, #7 will have a special place in your heart. From the tips you are 600 yards to the hole, but you are also provided an incredible view of the course and countryside.
The fairway is wide enough to help avoid the water on the left and right side, but gets skinnier as you approach the green, bringing into play the hills to the left and the bunkers to the right. Of course, you are presented with another tough green, and being pin-high presents you with a very fast downhill putt. This is definitely a Par 5 which requires precision on all 5 strokes to make Par.
I really can’t say enough about the Links at Gettysburg and how much I enjoyed the course. The design is challenging yet enjoyable, and if nothing else, the scenery makes it worth the time on the course. It’s an easy hour-plus drive from many regional areas (York-PA, Baltimore-MD, Leesburg-VA, etc.), so I highly recommend making plans to play — you won’t regret it.